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National Photographic Record: prints by Walter Bird, 1958-67


1338 Portraits in set

The National Photographic Record began in 1917, during the First World War, at the instigation of Walter Stoneman, the chief photographer for the long established firm of Russell & Sons. A selected range of eminent people of the day were invited to make an appointment to sit at Stoneman's studio and from each sitting a mounted print was added to the NPR. Reproduction fees from the publication of any of these photographs were shared between the photographer and the National Portrait Gallery. The collection was made for record purposes only, with no intention of the results being exhibited. Despite controversy caused by working exclusively with one selected photographer, the collection of postcard-sized prints of eminent people of the day grew over the years to an archive of over 10,000 subjects. Each year approximately 200 new subjects were added to an alphabetical sequence now housed in 436 boxes and viewable by appointment. Stoneman was succeeded, on his retirement and death, by Walter Bird (active 1958-1967), and then by Godfrey Argent (active 1967-1970). In addition, the Gallery also holds approximately 10,000 NPR whole- and half-plate glass negatives taken between 1917 and 1958, arranged chronologically, which consist of up to five alternative poses taken at the NPR sitting.

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Sir Philip Dennis Proctor, by Walter Bird - NPG x159758

Sir Philip Dennis Proctor

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1949
NPG x159758

Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, by Walter Bird - NPG x28757

Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma

by Walter Bird
bromide print on card mount, 1950s
NPG x28757

Sir Frederick Robertson Parham, by Walter Bird - NPG x169808

Sir Frederick Robertson Parham

by Walter Bird
bromide print, July 1950
NPG x169808

Sir (Ronald) Mark Turner, by Walter Bird - NPG x33860

Sir (Ronald) Mark Turner

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1951
NPG x33860

Wilfred George Fryer, by Walter Bird - NPG x167699

Wilfred George Fryer

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1954
NPG x167699

Peter Alexander, by Walter Bird - NPG x163479

Peter Alexander

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1957
NPG x163479

Sir Donald Richard Allen, by Walter Bird - NPG x163554

Sir Donald Richard Allen

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1957
NPG x163554

Sir Eric Malcolm Jones, by Walter Bird - NPG x165406

Sir Eric Malcolm Jones

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1957
NPG x165406

Dame Mary Guillan Smieton, by Walter Bird - NPG x166897

Dame Mary Guillan Smieton

by Walter Bird
bromide print on card mount, 1957
NPG x166897

Sir Ralf Billing Emerson, by Walter Bird - NPG x167397

Sir Ralf Billing Emerson

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1957
NPG x167397

Sir Edmund George Harwood, by Walter Bird - NPG x168194

Sir Edmund George Harwood

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1957
NPG x168194